Saturday, July 29, 2006

movie review "SARCAR"

SARCAR by Ram Gopal Verma a review by anonymous source

Members of the Indian film industry feel insulted sometimes when the industry is referred to as Bollywood. Well, a cheap, wannabe imitation such as Sarkar certainly justifies the label. I have read in places that the movie bears little resemblance to The Godfather. Well, the obvious references to Michael Corleone, Solozzo, Sunny Corleone, McClusky, Kay, Bonasera, the Don himself and a host of others, would beg to differ.

I have always believed that Ram Gopal Varma's films have been the heights of uber-pretentiousness...Sarkar touches hitherto unexplored depths. The long, overdone pauses, overkill melodrama and meaningless camera angles do not speak of good direction. They speak of yet another novice trying to match up to another great director, in this case Coppola. The typical, clich├ęd (might I add wrongful) use of classical and devotional music to emphasize deaths and melodrama do not help RGV's cause. The long pauses may suggest good direction to some. On the contrary, they are pretentious attempts masquerading as good cinema. Think Mani Kaul. It is one thing to have pauses for effect. It is quite another when it is overdone and exaggerated. This is an example of RGVs policy of hammering the message home to the audience. Subtlety has never been RGV's forte. To illustrate an example: Coppola shows Bonasera begging the Don for justice and we see the Don eventually agree to dispense that justice. With that out of the way, we assume that it is done, simply through Brando's impressive manner and later events. In Sarkar, RGV actually goes to the length of showing the justice being dispensed as the perpetrator is pummeled. This is just one example to show the difference between good film-making and RGVs brand of film-making. RGV probably assumes that the audience is so thick that it needs everything driven home with a sledgehammer. If one is to blatantly copy something, one should at least do a good job of it!

In addition, the movie seems to lose its way in the middle, starting off as a story of a powerful man, taking a jab at family drama, rushing down the avenue of a gangster flick and finally getting thoroughly lost. Had RGV managed to incorporate all these elements and wrapped them around the central storyline, we would have had a much better film on our hands. However, this is a point which I have to make regarding most of RGVs films. Even a movie as critically acclaimed as Company, went all over the world in the course of deciding on a plot and themes.The movie degenerates into a typical mainstream flick with melodrama worthy of a soap-opera.

Another important issue that one must consider now is: How long can directors go on making cheap imitations of great movies, calling them 'tributes'? Whether we like it or not, Sarkar bears too many resemblances to The Godfather as regards the plot and characters (the similarity ends here however, as the true film-making element enters leaving RGV stranded in the wake of a truly great film). If one were to consider the direction and cinematography of Sarkar, yes, it is not similar to The Godfather. I repeat, if RGV was going to shamelessly copy something, he might as well have done a good job of it. However, this occurs not through a want of trying. It boils down to one simple fact: RGV is one of the most overrated filmmakers in India today. I just wasted some good money renting out Sarkar. I plan to demand a refund tomorrow! In case you have watched the movie too, I suggest that you do the same. Eminently forgettable. Or, to maul a famous quote: "Forget it Jake. Its Tinseltown." At its very worst I might add.


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